Published: 23/09/2014 14:33 - Updated: 23/09/2014 14:52

Joan Armatrading: Me Myself I on final tour

Joan Armatrading flies solo for her last major tour.
Joan Armatrading flies solo for her last major tour.

JOAN Armatrading’s latest tour can be summed up in the title of one of her own songs: Me Myself I.

That is who will be seen on stage, just the St Kitts-born singer herself in her first solo tour.

Even more significantly, it will also be the final major tour for Armatrading in a 42 year career that has seen her nominated three times for a US Grammy Award and nominated twice for UK equivalent, the Brits.

"All my tours have been very long and I go from start to finish with no huge gaps in between," she explained of her decision to call time on her major tours.

"I’m 63 now. After this, I don’t really want to do 18 months of touring.

"But I’m not retiring. I’ll always be writing and, I hope, I will do some shorter tours and performances. I just don’t want to do this extended non-stop touring. I don’t want it to lose it’s charm, but if I keep on, it definitely will.

"I’ve chosen to play smaller gigs, just so it can be a more intimate thing, just me and the audience," she said.

"I’ll be playing the piano as well as the acoustic guitar and I haven’t played the piano on stage since probably ’76 or ’77, so it’s going to be different!."

At the time of speaking, Armatrading admitted she was having quite a job settling on a final set list drawn from almost 20 studio albums dating back to her first release in 1972 and including rock, blues, jazz and pop.

"It’s not easy at all. I think I’ll do this one and then suddenly I think: no, I should do that one. But I can’t end up with 50 songs!" she declared.

"I think I’ve got it down to a list of 14, which I haven’t changed my mind on at any point, but it’s really hard. There are standard numbers I have to play, but they are easy — Love and Affection, All The Way From America, Drop The Pilot — but when I’ve done those, what do I play? I don’t know!"

Joan Armatrading appears at  Eden Court’s Empire Theatre on Sunday 19th October.

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